Constipation is primarily a huge discomfort in the pit of your stomach. You feel like you want to empty yourself and you run to the loo only to be disappointed once again. If you can’t relieve yourself you might end up feeling bloated and experience abdominal aches, passing stool might just prove to be the hardest activity while running back and forth from the loo always feeling as if there is some unfinished business with your bowel movements. The normal frequency of bowel movements in adults is 1 to 2 per day and children may end up with 3 to 4 a day. If you are constipated the movement becomes restricted to just 3 a week or even less.
There are a number of reasons behind constipation - the number one being not drinking enough water or not including enough roughage in your diet or if you lead a sedentary life. There are three categories into which constipation is broken into primary, secondary and congenital. However, constipation does not have to rule your life, in fact there are some treatments you can avail to combat it and lead a happier life:
- Eating habits: You need to include roughage in your diet for it weighs your stool down and makes it easier for you to eliminate it from your body. Roughage rich food items include beans, berries, green vegetables, mushrooms, whole grain foods, cereal and muesli and nuts. Consult a dietitian to learn how much fibre intake is required for you daily, don’t rush it as a sudden increase may lead to gas. Also, keep yourself hydrated, drink lots of water throughout the day as it will soften your stool allowing for easy passage.
- Exercise: Daily exercise facilitates muscle movement in your intestines. Doing abdomen based exercises like crunches and push ups will not only affect your entire system but also help make your stomach muscles more flexible and accommodating to easy bowel movements. Additionally, don't force your bowel movement and take as much time as you need in the loo until the flow occurs naturally.
- Laxatives: This is a method employed in the more severe cases of constipation. You will be given fibre supplements, lubricants, stool softeners, osmotics and stimulants. These will help add mass to your stool and help the stool move more easily through your colon and contract your intestinal muscles for easier processing.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!